Aviation Psychology and Human Factors

Learning Outcomes

  1. Evaluate the diverse nature of areas for human factors application within
    commercial aviation
  2. Assess the importance of human factors awareness both in initial and
    ongoing training and continuous operation in the industry for pilots and
    cabin crew
  3. Apply psychology principles in determining the root causes of aviation
    incidents and accidents.


In the early days of flight, approximately 80 percent of accidents were caused by the machine and 20 percent were caused by human error. Today that statistic has reversed. Approximately 80 percent of airplane accidents are due to human error (pilots, air traffic controllers, mechanics, etc.) and 20 percent are due to machine (equipment) failures (Boeing,2007). It is vital for air accident investigators the root causes of why Human factors(HF) contribute significantly to aviation accidents. Investigators use models to help them arrive at root and contributory causes and also to come up with relevant and effective mitigation. With this in mind, the task of this assignment is to:

  1. Identify an accident (which took place in the last twenty years) that was caused by human factors and give a brief summary of the events leading to the accident.
    [10 marks]
  2. Read the accident report carefully and apply at least three HF models studied in this module or any other HF models that you know, to find out the root and contributory factors to the accident. Include the HF elements involved. [ 60 marks]
  3. Assess the effectiveness of the recommendations given and where possible, suggest further recommendations.
    [30 marks]

Word count: 2000 words


This assignment is to be written in a report format and should include appropriate diagrams. Please submit your work through the module Turnitin link provided.

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